6 min read
22 March 2021

How to create personas for digital workspace adoption

Kelly van der Horst

There are many benefits to transitioning to a digital workspace. However, the biggest challenge in doing so is often how well employees will adjust to the change. One way to improve the transition to a digital workspace is to create personas.

A digital workspace should be easily adaptable to your company's needs. This is where these personas can help, as well as during the change process. In this article, we'll take a closer look at what personas are, how to go about creating them and how these can help with digital workspace adoption.

What are personas?

A persona is essentially a mockup of a user profile to give a name and face to a particular group of people. They are fictional and representative of a broader group of users.

In the context of digital workplace adoption, user personas are a representation of the different employees within a company. These personas should include realistic information on who the employees are, their digital skill levels, the challenges they face, etcetera. This gives companies a good idea of what kind of employees work for them.

The most crucial part of developing personas is maintaining the human element. A job description can tell you what role an employee should fulfil within the company. A persona should paint a picture of what this looks like in practice. You are creating a narrative.

So, what does a user persona look like?

User personas need to include a range of information. They need to include employees' demographic information, their main objectives and their barriers to achieving these goals.

Additionally, it should include information like personality traits, employee expectations, and what a typical workday looks like. All of this information should have a short narrative outlining the details.

Bear in mind that, typically, user personas shouldn't be longer than two pages. We'll get into how to go about creating these a little later.

Why create personas in the first place?

Well, digital transformation - although wonderful - can quite easily fail in implementation. There are a number of reasons why it often doesn't work. An important one is that the focus is on the technology and not the people who have to use it.

Employees can quickly lose interest in the new tools you provide if they are overly complicated or simply don't meet employee needs.

Creating adoption personas will help you to customise your workspace and understand what your employees actually need, in the workspace itself as well as the level of training and guidance needed. This will not only improve employee efficiency but will ensure a smoother rollout of the technology.

How to create personas for digital workspace adoption

Now, let's look at how to create a persona. Here are 6 steps to follow to create and implement personas in your company.

1. Research

The first step in creating personas for your employees is to research! The methods you choose to conduct your research depend on your needs and limitations. However, interviews with employees are a must.

How much time you have and the human resources you have available to conduct these will be your limiting factors. Ensure that you set up your questionnaires to be concise but to extract as much information as possible.

You can also administer surveys, focus groups and simply observe your employees to gain insight. These will give you more general information, which is also key in persona development.

2. Analyse and find patterns

Next, you need to analyse your research findings to draw patterns. These patterns are going to form the base of your personas. The number of personas you create will depend on how you group these patterns.

You might find that these patterns are related to roles, personality types, skill levels, needs and expectations. They can also be a combination of factors.

3. Draw up your personas

Using the patterns that you identified, you can now draw up your personas. The format that you choose to do this in is entirely up to you - just keep it under two pages long. Since you are investing the time in creating these and you'll be sharing these, take the time to make them look good!

Include an image or photograph to accompany each persona you've created. This highlights the human element. Then, clearly and concisely present the information mentioned before (demographic, objectives, challenges, personality traits). Then, write a short narrative to demonstrate this information in action.

An example persona might say something like this: Lisa is a junior copywriter with a keen interest in photography. She is responsible for writing copy for the gaming and tech division. She works as part of a team of 5 people, although she can complete much of her work on her own, which she prefers.


4.Share with stakeholders and make adjustments

Personas should be a collaborative effort. Employee input is integral in establishing these personas. However, they also need to align with the company's goals. This means that management and the company executive should also be involved in developing these personas so that their goals align.

Human Resources departments can also give input pertaining to the roles these employees play. Once you have received feedback from the relevant stakeholders, you can amend the personas. Creating a more accurate persona allows you to make more accurate predictions and plan more effectively.

5. Validate the personas with your employees

Perhaps the most important people involved in creating your personas are your employees. They are who you are trying to represent after all. So, share your created personas with your employees. Then, meet with them to discuss any shortcomings and amend accordingly.

It's important that your employees agree that your personas represent them accurately. No one knows them better than themselves after all!

6. Ensure company-wide adoption of personas

Now, it is time to actually use your employee personas. It's important to distribute these personas to the rest of the company in a way that makes it clear why they were created.

These personas are helpful in assisting with digital workplace adoption, yes. But, they can also be used for a number of other functions, particularly in training and strategic planning.

Final thoughts

Digital transformation is an ongoing goal for many companies these days. Whether only in part or full scale, digital workspace solutions can be of great benefit. To ensure that this transition happens smoothly, make sure that you focus on your employees.

Now that you know how to create personas, you can tailor your workspace so that it meets employees' needs and aids the transition.

Do you have questions about Workspace 365 or do you want to become partner?  Contact us!

Subscribe to our blog

Get the latest tips, resources and updates to help work better!

Related articles